Recently, world organisations have experienced rapid changes in varied spheres of business activities. Managers encounter intricate and challenging pressures and opportunities. The situation has led to a demand for more holistic approaches to business management that create a favourable environment for business activities. The pervasiveness of dynamic technology, market fluctuations, changing customer needs, and prevailing social, economic, political, and societal forces have forced entrepreneurs, scholars, and policymakers to rethink the processes of business management. The term management has become too broad and diverse to define today’s business environments.
Modern management practices demand processes that involve appropriate human resources, pertinent elements, and levels of administration. Rapid changes in various business aspects around the globe have led to organisational change. To manage change, business leaders have to devise holistic strategies in order to ensure that the course of change continues productively. This paper explores the relationship between change management and strategic management as experienced in contemporary organisational situations.
Ledez (2008) defines change management as the practice of making adjustments in the structure of an organisation through premeditated and logical processes in an attempt to harmonise organisational functions. Change management is an internal process that occurs within the boundaries of an organisation, regardless of whether the change emanates from the internal or the external business environment.
For instance, during the last decade, many companies have undergone the process of change in order to integrate modern technology in attempts to improve production systems (Markiewicz 2011). Therefore, change management is entirely a radical process that alters the existing operational stratagems of an organisation in order to realise some distinct goals and objectives. Organisations change to seek competitive advantage in competitive markets.
Strategic management is a comprehensive process of analysing internal and external business environments with a view of developing apt strategies and assessment of cross-functional decisions to accomplish organisational goals and objectives (Cui, Calantone, & Griffith 2011). It involves planned coordination and placement of resources according to organisational performance goals. Managers use strategic management to gather relevant information about the prevailing conditions in both internal and external business environments. Strategic management is a two-stage process that comprises strategic planning and strategy implementation.
Strategic planning involves the formulation of goals and objectives that relate to the intents of the organisation. Strategic planners have to consider crucial factors occurring in the internal and external environments that influence organisational processes (Ledez 2008). Strategy implementation entails processes that put the strategic goals devised during strategic planning into their respective functions in an organisation. At this stage, change management comes into play (Ireland & Hitt 2005).
The processes of change management and strategic management are interrelated and mutually responsive organisational tools that enable the realisation of organisational targets. Cui, Calantone, and Griffith (2011) reveal that strategic management covers long-term planning that ways of formulation, implementation, and evaluation of organisational goals. Strategic management enables stakeholders to appreciate the importance of conveying information and provision of feedback amongst the various organisational structures. It creates healthy business interactions as managers use employee, customer, stakeholder, and market responsiveness to determine long-term business goals.
Therefore, it prepares an advanced course of action for unseen business uncertainties that may necessitate change management by allocating and aligning appropriate resources with performance goals and objectives. The process of strategic management comprises two distinct stages known as strategic planning and strategy implementation (Markiewicz 2011). The author reveals that change management is a crucial tool for the process of strategy implementation.
Change management facilitates the implementation of strategic goals as defined in the strategic plan. As defined above, strategic management begins with the formulation of goals, objectives, and setting of how an organisation would battle its competitors in an attempt to seek a competitive advantage. Business managers bear the responsibility of matching long-term goals with the specific short-term goals of both the organisation and the employees. According to Ledez (2008), the process of strategy implementation involves creating a suitable business environment for the execution of an organisational change management process. Strategy implementation entails the processes that put formulated goals into action.
Change management occurs within a strategic management process to amend the prevailing business conditions as organisations seek more efficient business practices. However, the process of change follows some determining procedures that align with the employee and organisational goals. The process of change management provides a framework for the achievement of strategic goals (Afonina & Chalupský 2012) within the stipulated procedures of operation.
The authors reveal that the process of strategic management balances the factors within the internal and external business environments that could otherwise hinder the implementation of change. Therefore, there exists a lot of information interchange between the two strategic and change management practices. Strategic management provides business leaders with crucial information pertaining to both internal and external factors that influence change management. The knowledge about external environment factors such as economic, societal, political, and technological forces has a vital significance in the design of change processes in organisations (Ireland & Hitt 2005).
Sometimes, human resource managers may also necessitate change within the organisation due to internal environmental issues such as the urge to achieve organisational targets, operational costs, turnover rates, and the need to meet market and consumer demands. Change management that emanates from within the organisation requires human resource managers to seek knowledge that pertains to employee satisfaction, financial information, market trends, and how these aspects compare with the strategic goals of the organisation. In general, strategic management uses feedback to provide human resource managers with adequate knowledge about the requirements they need in order to execute change processes successfully (Afonina & Chalupský 2012).
Change management serves as a process of strategic management that necessitates the appropriate transformation of strategies with a view of improving the functionality of organisations towards the accomplishment of set goals and objectives. Organisations require appropriate techniques and ways of conduction their operations as a first step towards gaining a competitive advantage in contemporary markets. There is an increasing need for strategic management techniques that are more dynamic and interactive to improve the process of seeking information and finding new solutions for business problems.
The ability of an organisation to adopt an apt strategic management process determines its capacity to manage change effectively. Internationally, technology and processes that are intensely dynamic have saturated business environments. Organisations also have to develop appropriate approaches to change management. Misalignment of change management practices with strategic goals and overall organisational goals implies possible conflicts that may trigger the resistance of change. Nonetheless, there is a constant need for contemporary organisations to maintain mutually responsive relationships between strategic management and change management by establishing all-inclusive formulation, implementation, and evaluation strategies.
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Cui, S, Calantone, J & Griffith, D.A 2011, ‘Strategic Change and Termination of Interfirm Partnerships’, Strategic Management Journal, vol. 32 no. 4, pp. 402-23.
Ireland, D & Hitt, A 2005, ‘Achieving and maintaining strategic competitiveness in the 21st century: The role of strategic leadership’, Academy of Management Executive, vol. 19 no. 4, pp. 63-77.
Ledez, E 2008, ‘Change Management: getting a tuned up Organization’, Business Intelligence Journal, vol. 1 no. 1, pp. 111-19.
Markiewicz, P 2011, ‘Change Management in the Strategy Implementation Process’, Intellectual Economics, vol. 5 no. 2, pp. 257-67.